1. ITV Report

Mother of 'starved boy' tells court he wouldn't eat

manda Hutton cries as she gives evidence at Bradford Crown Court. Photo: Priscilla Coleman/ITV News

A mother accused of starving her four-year-old son to death denied killing him and told a jury "he wouldn't eat".

Amanda Hutton fought back tears as she recalled how she found Hamzah Khan dead in her bedroom.

Bradford Crown Court has heard that Hamzah died in December 2009 but his body was not found for almost two years.

His mummified remains were discovered in a cot in Hutton's bedroom in her Bradford house in September 2011.

Damon Green reports:

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, cross-examined Hutton in court:

  • Mr Greaney: "Do you agree that you failed to make sure he had enough food?"
  • Hutton: "No. He wouldn't eat."
  • Mr Greaney: "So you didn't starve him - he starved himself?"
  • Hutton: "He wouldn't eat."

She told the jury she was at Morrisons supermarket when she got a call from her grown-up son Tariq to say Hamzah's eyes were rolling back into his head.

I rushed upstairs to my bedroom and found Hamzah had passed away. I picked him up and checked all his pulse points and there was nothing.

I tried to give him mouth-to-mouth but that wasn't working.

I picked him up from my bed and put him over my shoulder and brown vomit came out of him, from his mouth.

Hutton, who gave evidence in a quiet voice, said wanted to call the police but Tariq stopped her. Asked why, she said: "I'm not sure."

Bradford Crown Court has heard that Hamzah died in December 2009 but his body was not found for almost two years. Credit: Family handout

She told the jury she then stayed in her bedroom with Hamzah all night and "held him for hours."

The 43-year-old, who denies manslaughter, repeatedly rejected claims that the little boy died due to her neglect because she drank heavily and "cared more about alcohol" than she did about her son.

  • Mr Greaney: "For a substantial period before Hamzah died, drinking was more important to you than his welfare."
  • Hutton: "No, that's not true."
  • Mr Greaney: "You cared more about alcohol than you did about that child."
  • Hutton: "Not at all."

Hutton said she began drinking heavily after Hamzah's death. She said she slept on the sofa.

After the shock I just didn't know what to do. It was literally like a snowball that gets bigger. It got harder every day.

She agreed that she had continued to claim child benefit for Hamzah after his death. But Hutton told the jury this was because she thought questions would be asked if she stopped claiming.

The trial continues.

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